Brain Hacking: Your Thoughts Aren’t as Private as You Believe

  • April 7, 2015
  • Science
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Brain Hacking: Your Thoughts Aren’t as Private as You Believe

Modern electronic technology has changed a lot over the last few years. For instance, BCI (Brain Computer Interfaces) have become popular because of the video games that have been developed by the entertainment and gaming industries. Consumer-grade BCIs are now available for very reasonable prices and are used for a variety of different applications. As anyone savvy with current technology knows, there are now application stores where you have access to APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that have been designed to interface and collect data from a BCI device. And all of this technology has led to what we call, brain hacking.

Brain Hacking Revealed Through Scientific Research

In 2008, a neuroscience research company by the name of, NeuroFocus, was bought by The Nielsen Company (a leading global information and research company). NeuroFocus developed an EEG-based BCI called Mynd. At the time they stated (see the Martinovic PDF):

“…market researchers will be able to capture the highest
quality data on consumers’ deep subconscious responses
in real time wirelessly, revolutionizing mobile in-market
research and media consumption at home.”

Using this new technology, scientific studies were conducted by researchers at the University of California in Berkley and the University of Oxford in Geneva. The researchers wondered if they could access secret personal data stored on a person’s brain by using EEG-based BCI devices. The specific data they were interested in was secret information such as: bank accounts, bank cards, PIN numbers, areas of living, the knowledge of known persons, etc.

Results of Brain Hacking Scientific Studies

The initial testing, which took place back in 2012, showed significantly positive results that the conclusion of the researchers was that as technology in the quality of EEG-based BCI devices increased, the success rates of attacks to obtain secret information from brain hacking would also increase. Their conclusion was that the development of new brain hacking attacks could be accomplished with relative ease and would only be limited by the attacker’s creativity.

It seems that brain hacking is another serious threat to our security now and in the future.

The Paleo Diet, Is It Your Best Choice for the New Year?

  • January 13, 2015
  • Science
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The Paleo Diet, Is It Your Best Choice in 2015?

Every January millions of us step on the bathroom scale and reality hits. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the holidays and eating everything that we have resisted all year. For most of us, we go from feast to famine and we dust off our gym membership and head back to the “exercise torture chamber.” The worst part is that we have the post- holiday blues, and where in the world did our energy go? We think, maybe it’s time to try that Paleo Diet we’ve been hearing about.

So What Really Is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet, or Paleolithic Diet, is based on how it is believed our cavemen ancestors ate. The emphasis is on meat and fish that is not saturated with growth-stimulating antibiotics and hormones and fresh fruit and vegetables. The diet excludes dairy products, processed sugars, grains, trans fats and industrialized Omega-6 fats. Herein lies the objections of many dieticians and nutritionists. They claim that any diet that excludes certain food groups is not balanced. They also claim that there is no scientific proof that the Paleo Diet leads to a longer and healthier life.

Jennifer Andrus, a New York City nutritionist, says of the Paleo diet:

“It eliminates dairy, legumes and some other foods that can be a healthy part of one’s diet…I think processed food deserves the criticism, but probably not because we haven’t evolved; more likely because we eat too much of it and most of it is nutritionally void.”

The Paleo Diet and Recent Research

Most processed foods and packaged foods contain trans fats. Trans fats are man-made oils that cause inflammation. Scientific research has unearthed the fact that inflammation is behind many of our serious health problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, ADD/ADHD, strokes, migraines, thyroid issues, the list goes on and on. The Paleo Diet is a diet that avoids foods that cause inflammation. When we change our diet to a diet that is anti-inflammatory, such as the Paleo Diet, we can see immediate and dramatic health improvements. Another benefit of an anti-inflammatory diet is that people tend to lose weight.

Mark Sisson, a leading expert on anti-inflammatory diets and the Paleo Diet, says:

“Certainly use plants, vegetables as the main basis of the Paleo eating strategy. And then great sources of protein: so meat, fish, fowl, eggs, and so on, and then healthy fats.”

So, what does he mean by “healthy fats?” Aren’t all fats, especially saturated fats, bad for you? No. That is another thing that extensive recent research is unveiling.

Here is a list of the healthy fats that are encouraged by the Paleo Diet and thousands of doctors who have stayed current with the recent dietary research:


Nuts and seeds

Olive oil

Fish oil

Coconut oil

Saturated fat in beef and pork

Dr. Eric Westman, of the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, is one of those doctors who has changed his opinion due to the research results. He now says:

“In fact, saturated fat, the fat that we’ve been taught not to eat, raises your good cholesterol best of all the foods you can eat.”

So should you feel comfortable about using the Paleo Diet this year? Yes, but remember that balance in a diet is all important. Chris Kresser, author of the book, Your Personal Paleo Code, says:

“Some people like to abide by the 80/20 rule; if 80% of your diet is perfect, there’s wiggle room for the rest.”

Apple App Promises Easier and Accurate Well-Being Monitoring

  • January 5, 2015
  • Science, Tech
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Easier and More Accurate Well-Being Monitoring Via App

Here is another great app I thought my readers at would be interested in. Mood Score is a new app for Apple iPhone and available in the App Store that promises to make mood self-reporting easier and more accurate. Mood Score prompts users to enter data on several areas of personal wellness, increasing compliance and accuracy compared to traditional self-reporting methods.

Traditionally, the hardest part of keeping track of a person’s daily wellness has been the “self-reporting” aspect. Record keeping is slow and clumsy and as a result many people don’t keep accurate records. Frequently therapists, doctors, coaches and trainers will ask their clients to keep a daily journal that includes mood reporting, but compliance suffers because journal entries are hard to do.

That’s where Mood Score comes in. The iPhone app prompts users to enter appropriate information across four measures of wellness, including physical, mental, spiritual and interpersonal relations. The data is then aggregated and tracked over time, so the app can analyze trends and alert users to significant changes.

“This app is going to improve personal well-being monitoring,” said app author Adam Bourque. “We’re going way beyond a lifestyle app to have fun with or something that just tracks how far you jog each day. We’re keeping track of the physical, spiritual, mental and interpersonal aspects of your daily life and accurately reporting the highs and lows.” Early adopters agree. “This is a very useful app,” according to an App Store review. “It shows trends of how my mood was throughout the last 30 days. It really helps with discussions during counseling.”

About Mood Score, LLC

Download the app here:

Mood Score, LLC was formed by Adam Bourque to provide products to improve the technology surrounding personal wellness monitoring. Their first product, Mood Score, was launched in November, 2014.

Check Mood Score out I really thing these types of apps make a difference in peoples lives.

Mood Score App

Swappi Swap Second Hand Item App Review

  • December 24, 2014
  • Science, Tech
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Swappi Swap Second Hand Item App Review

Just in time for the holidays Swappi is here! Swappi is simple and fun way to swap items that you no longer need into things that you are actually interested in having.

What can you swap? Turns out with this Apple App you can swap almost anything. On Swappi swap smartphones, electronics, furniture, books, shoes, and even cars. This is a great idea especially around Christmas time. I could see someone using this app instead of going to Goodwill donate. Just go on Swappi and swap items you no longer want with something you do. Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

If you want to check this app out check out the Apple iTunes



Beer Balancer Android App On Google

Beer Balancer Android App On Google

In the New Year a lot of you will be making resolutions. Help make 2015 the best year yet with this new unique app.

The Beer Balancer Android App is just the thing to help you get motivated for your workouts. The premise of the Beer Balancer App is it balances how intensely you need to workout based on your beer/alcohol drinking habits. For example the app might tell you earned 1 beer for 100 push ups. The Beer Balancer is a workout motivation technique that will add fun to exercise. Beer Balancing is earning alcoholic beverage consumption through physical exercise. It is a simple system to bring the user’s workout habits into equilibrium with their drinking habits. On the surface Beer Balancing is just a simple app to help the user keep track of their ‘balance’, but Beer Balancing also using gamification techniques to make the experience more engaging for the user. Ideally if you are working out you would want to severely limit your alcohol consumption, but I can see this app being a fun way to track your process. If you are interested in downloading the Beer Balancer App visit: Beer Balancing App

App screenshot:

Beer Balancer App

Here’s to 2015!

Feeling Stressed? Blame Your Emails

  • December 23, 2014
  • Science
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Feeling Stressed? Blame Your Emails

Checking emails is as addicting as social media and thanks to technology you can easily add your dozen email accounts so that they load on all your devices like tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, etc. This means that if you’re constantly using your device, you’re most likely also always checking your email accounts.
About a 183 billion emails are sent and received in one day, which really says a lot about society (even though many of them probably are promotional emails). Although you might think nothing of it, new research says the more you refresh your inbox, the more stress you become.

The study by the University of British Columbia found that people became more stressed out after checking their emails all the time and suggest that you should only check your accounts throughout the day a maximum of three times. Any more than this number and you’ll be stressed out.

The study involved 124 adults and researchers made them check their email only three times a day for an entire week. Then the week following that, they were encouraged to check their emails as much as they wanted (basically, how many times they checked it before the study). Participants were also asked to fill out a daily 10-minuate questionnaire that noted their stress levels.

During the week they only checked their emails three times a day, their questionnaires reflected that they were much happier than the week that they checked it as many times as they pleased. So could the answer to a happier life be to unlink your Gmail account to your phone? Possibly!

It’s said that the average person checks their email accounts up to 15 times in one day, which can really add on to a person’s normal stress levels. So why the added stress levels for just checking something as simple as emails?

Well, for starters, an email from work can turn a great day bad. Some emails hold emotional baggage, while others remind you of what you’re supposed to be doing or buying. When you constantly check emails, your attention is always being diverted and this can be pretty taxing on your brain, the study suggests. Many participants in the study did admit that it was quite difficult to be limited to how many times they check their email, which caused them to stress out a bit. But then afterward, they showed huge drops in their stress levels – admitting to feeling calmer and more at peace.

According to the study, it’s best to check your email in chunks so that you only forced to look at it three times a day rather than constantly looking at it and responding to messages as they come in. To feel less stressed, it’s advised to spread out those three times throughout the das, checking your email once in the morning, afternoon and night.

Try it out yourself for a week and you’ll soon notice a difference in your stress levels!

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